Income or Property Tax Cut – Which would you prefer?

Editorial on NJ Property Taxes from the Philly Inquirer:

N.J. needs property-tax relief, not income

The one thing that seems to get otherwise rational New Jersey residents to foam at the mouth is the state’s punishing property-tax system.

Property owners spend an average of $7,759 a year to support schools and municipal services. Sometimes they get tax rebates to offset the pain. Sometimes they don’t.

Now there is a dispute between state Senate and Assembly leaders, who want to give residents a property-tax credit on their state income taxes, and Gov. Christie, who wants to cut the income tax by 10 percent.

The governor’s plan would mean a $7,000 tax cut for millionaires, but only an $80 reduction for families earning $50,000. If that sounds wrongly skewed, it’s because it is. That paltry sum won’t help poor and middle-class New Jerseyans struggling with higher prices for food, gasoline, and health care.

The Christie plan also rests on a very shaky projection that state revenues will increase 7.3 percent next year, a figure that only the governor’s office seems to think is realistic in this fragile economy. His plan should be dismissed out of hand, so legislators can concentrate on meaningful property-tax cuts.

The Assembly’s proposal would give property owners earning less than $250,000 annually a 20 percent credit on their income taxes for property taxes paid up to $10,000. That would be paid for, in part, by raising the income taxes of millionaires.

The Senate plan would grant a 10 percent credit for those earning $250,000 or less, but relies on the governor’s revenue figures to cover costs. That’s too big a gamble.

The Assembly plan makes more sense. Only about 16,000 of New Jersey’s 2.6 million income-tax filers would see their tax rate increase from 8.97 percent to 10.75 percent. They can well afford to sacrifice a bit more than others who have shouldered the most in this down economy, with its job losses, wage cuts, and higher gas prices.

Both legislative plans would fold the property-tax credits into the state’s tax code. That means governors would no longer be able to dangle property-tax rebates in election years and pull them back when revenues fall.

The legislative leaders are not that far apart. It’s time for them to work out their differences and speak in one voice. Divided, they will be conquered. New Jersey property owners deserve to win this argument.

This entry was posted in Economics, New Jersey Real Estate, Politics, Property Taxes. Bookmark the permalink.

168 Responses to Income or Property Tax Cut – Which would you prefer?

  1. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Sweeney hopes to stop towns from charging residents ‘user fees’ to stay under property tax cap

    Senate President Stephen Sweeney said today he wants the state to crack down on towns raising “user fees” for services such as garbage collection so municipalities can stay under the state’s ceiling on property tax increases.

    Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said he planned to introduce a bill intended to put user fees under a 2 percent tax cap on property taxes, which was enacted in 2010.

    “A ‘user fee’ for a municipally provided service is just another way of saying ‘tax,’ and these attempts to get around the property tax cap are disingenuous and detrimental to homeowners,” Sweeney said.

    Under the current law, towns can’t raise total property taxes more than 2 percent unless residents approve an increase by referendum.

    A League of Municipalities survey released in December found that towns are increasingly turning to user fees on such amenities as parking and recreation to raise revenue.

    “We haven’t seen the details of what Senate President Sweeney has put out there,” said Bill Dressel, the League’s executive director. “I think that given the circumstances that local officials are finding themselves in … they’ve got to look at options, at every option that they possibly can.”

  2. grim says:

    From the Record:

    NJ tax collections ahead of same time last year, according to treasury department

    New Jersey tax collections are ahead of where they were at this point last year and now nearly matching the growth projected by Governor Christie as the state prepares to count April income tax returns.

    The state collected 3.6 percent more revenue during the first three quarters of the current budget year than it did during the same period last year, according to tax collection data released by the Department of Treasury on Monday.

    But New Jersey will have to double that pace of revenue growth in the new budget year to meet the 7.3 percent economic expansion that’s been projected by Christie for the spending plan set to go into effect on July 1.

    That proposed $32.1 billion budget relies on a full $2.2 billion in new revenue to help increase spending on education, hospitals and several other areas while also cutting income and business taxes.

    Christie has been touting those proposed tax cuts at town hall style meetings and other events throughout the state since his February budget address.

    In the first nine months of this current budget year, the state brought in $16 billion in revenue, which is just slightly less than the $16.1 billion estimate put in place last year and then revised earlier this year when Christie put forward his new budget.

  3. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  4. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    Citigroup REO values plummet on massive bulk sales

    Citigroup disposed of two large real estate-owned property deals in 2011, causing the value of its REO book to shrink more than 70% in the first quarter compared to a year earlier.

    The New York-based Citigroup’s North American REO property was valued at $392 million in the first quarter, plummeting 71% from a year earlier when it totaled $1.33 billion.

    The declines were a result of Citigroup selling or resolving large REO, a company spokesperson said, adding that its institutional clients group resolution of “one or two large properties in 2011” drove the declines.

    The bank’s institutional client group’s REO assets nearly disappeared in value, falling 99% to $7 million from $743 million in the first quarter of 2011.

    Local consumer lending, which represents the U.S. residential real estate in Citi Holdings, fell 42% to $356 million from $619 million as a result of low “sales and not as much inflow due to foreclosures not making their way to OREO,” the spokesperson said.

    The details of the REO disposition at this point are unclear.

  5. grim says:

    From Re/Max:

    Home Prices Surge, Signaling Strong Selling Season

    For the second month in a row, home prices have risen higher than a year ago. Median prices in March were an impressive 5.8% higher than March 2011 in the 53 metro areas surveyed for the RE/MAX National Housing Report. February marked the first time in 18 months that home prices rose higher than the previous year, and year-to-year price increases haven’t occurred in two consecutive months since August 2010. Home sales in March were 25.4% higher than February and 1.5% higher than March last year. For the last 9 months, sales have reached a level higher than the same month in the previous year. Following these trends, the spring and summer months should experience increased activity. With falling inventory and many markets witnessing multiple offers with bidding competitions, prices are likely to continue to rise in many areas.

    “With buyers starting to jump into this market, this year’s selling season is shaping up to be the strongest we’ve seen in years,” said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. “Although we don’t expect home prices to rise in every market at the same rate, the worst is definitely behind us, and a slow, steady recovery is taking hold.”

  6. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    How to Play the Home Price/Rent Gap

    It’s the paradox of our housing market: Home prices remain low while the cost to rent is high. For investors who can take advantage of that gap—those who can buy foreclosures on the cheap and rent them out to people who can’t afford to, or don’t want to, purchase a house—there’s a lot of money to be made. It could reach above $100 billion during this year alone, according to a new report by the real-estate-data firm CoreLogic.

    Investors who have access to enough capital to scoop up foreclosures can earn more than 8 percent returns—not shabby in this era of near-record-low interest rates. Institutional investors such as private-equity firms have been clamoring to get into a market that has historically been restrained by government regulations limiting the purchase and rental of foreclosures. Those limits are changing as federal officials begin relaxing the rules. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has been calling for more rentals and on April 5, the Fed released guidelines by which banks can become landlords. In February, Fannie Mae, which owns more than 100,000 foreclosed homes, launched a pilot program to sell the foreclosures in bulk to investors. The pilot, which included about 2,500 homes, focused on Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and parts of Florida.

    Some of those are locations that CoreLogic says offer the best returns for investors. The firm states that in Florida and the Midwest—including the West Palm Beach, Cleveland, and Chicago metro areas—investors can recoup the costs from buying foreclosures in less than a year. Such activity could also boost local economies. Morgan Stanley estimates that cleaning up and repairing rental properties could create as many as 800,000 new jobs and that maintaining the properties could add 1 million more. That would mean housing could return to its customary role of lifting the economy, rather than dragging it down.

  7. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim 5 As far as I am concerned Remax is talking out there a**. Just received two on the hot sheet this morn both 60 DOM one reduced 20 k the the other 15 k which reflect a 6% & 3.5 % reductions respectively. The former is a good deal IMHO & they will not get ask either.
    Tick tick tick.

  8. Brian says:

    I definitely prefer a property tax cut. Even people in Sussex county are now paying 5 figure property tax bills. It’s getting out of hand.

  9. Mikeinwaiting says:

    I prefer an income tax cut not being a bag holder, you stand were you sit.

  10. grim says:

    Good point, the probability of seeing reduced rents based on the property tax cuts are damn near zero.

  11. borat the dictator says:

    Jj for presidente

  12. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim 10 my thought also.

  13. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Where the he** is JJ anyway.

  14. Brian says:

    9 –

    Lowering property taxes is good not just for current homeowners, but for many others. I don’t only think of my own well being but what’s best for my neighbors, NJ and the region. I am also thinking of the Macroeconomic picture.

    Many of the people that in Newton and in Sussex County are Small business owners like Electricians, Plumbers, Landscapers, masons, HVAC guys, Framers, roofers, etc.

    Lowering property taxes might motivate homeowners to put on that addition, renovate that kitchen, or bath, etc. Things that might have raised their property tax bill might not sting as much if property taxes were lower putting some of these guys to work generating more economic activity in the State.

    There’s an even bigger picture too. The guys that worked on my house were generally a very patriotic group. They went out of their way to buy materials made in the USA. I was watching them closely out of curiosity and just about every board, nail, insulation bat, electrical fixture, wire etc. was made in the USA. (Funny though the “american standard” toilet was made in Mexico!)

    So, I just think lowering property taxes in NJ helps the most people. Including me.

  15. grim says:

    Ha, I bought a Kohler cast iron tub because it was still made in the USA. Damn thing must have weighed 500 lbs. Plumbers looked at me like I was crazy when they saw it come off the delivery truck. We had to rig it to the bucket of a backhoe to get it in through the front door.

  16. Brian says:

    15 –

    The one thing I regret about our addition is that I did not have them lift a one piece shower stall in through the roof while the framers had it open. The three piece is still nice and all but, I can see the possibility of mold growing where the caulk is.

    Oh well, too late now. I don’t see how I can get one up through the narrow staircase now.

  17. grim says:

    Random comment..

    I really hope that David Choe (Artist that did the Facebook murals in exchange for options that may net him $200-300 million at IPO) unseats Damien Hirst as the most successful living artist. Won’t get into an argument about the merits of what Hirst has done, and whether or not it is art or sideshow, but something particularly ironic about a relative no-name unseating the art marketing master with a single piece (which makes Hirst’s 50 million pound platinum and diamond skull look cheap in comparison).

  18. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Brian 14 Not married to either position but on the flip side.
    There is also the argument that there is no cut for the lower end of the populace because they do not own homes, and this money will also spur economic activity in a reduction of income tax form across the board. We have a habit in this country of skewing everything toward home ownership rebates, deductions, etc, we have seen where that has taken us.

  19. grim says:

    16 – No worries, most newer caulks for bath and shower use are anti-microbial and mold resistant. When you need to recaulk in 10 years, there will be even better products out. I’ve seen some of the first Kohler fiberglass multi-piece enclosures still looking good (I didn’t say the colors weren’t dated), some 30+ years later. Who cares though, in 20 years you’ll want to remodel your outdated bath, because Avocado and Shell will be back in style again.

  20. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Yes avocado bathrooms I can’t wait.

  21. gary says:

    “With buyers starting to jump into this market, this year’s selling season is shaping up to be the strongest we’ve seen in years,” said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. “Although we don’t expect home prices to rise in every market at the same rate, the worst is definitely behind us, and a slow, steady recovery is taking hold.”

    LOL! I love early morning comedy!

  22. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    13 Mike probably stalking 17.5 year old model trust fund babies in lower manhattan

  23. gary says:

    An income tax cut does absolutely nothing for the majority of us. It results in a few cafe lattes, nothing more. The property tax relief will never happen; you will be forced to pay it as it rises to infinity. If you don’t, they will repo your house. You have no say at all. Don’t like it? Move to another State.

  24. Mike says:

    Mike 18 Agree with that one.

  25. 3B says:

    #5 I will let Mr. Case and Mr. Shiiler know, so they can adjust accordingly.

  26. Brian says:

    “We have a habit in this country of skewing everything toward home ownership rebates, deductions, etc, we have seen where that has taken us.”

    That may have been a small contributing factor but, I don’t think a rebate or a tax deduction would be anything more than a dumb gimmick to buy votes. Maybe the intentions were good (they had my thoughts in post 14 in mind) I’m not sure it was a major factor in the cause of the housing bubble.

    The housing bubble was not isolated to the United States. It seems to have been a global phenomenon. Some economists theorize that theres a relationship between foreign investment, financial innovation and price appreciation.

    Rapidly increasing housing prices may have been a symptom of a maturing economy.

  27. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    How about a property tax cut just for owner-occupiers of 1 primary residence? Here in Boston all owners of a primary residence within the city limits receive a flat rate residential exemption. This year it is $1,644.28. Every owner who makes their Boston property their primary residence has their property taxes reduced by this same amount. If we moved away and rented out our home we would lose this exemption and our tax bill would rise by the same amount the following year. Boston has also been good about reducing assessments and tax bills during the down turn, without grieving.

  28. 3B says:

    #18 Mike: I agree, and income tax helps everybody no matter how large or small their income. A cut in property taxes (while nice) only benefits homeowners

  29. Brian says:

    Hey, I’m just glad the debate is which tax to cut. Leadership in NJ is usually talking about whose tax to raise.

  30. 3B says:

    #7 Mike: I find it hard to believe prices went up that much anywhere in a year except perhaps AZ NV, where prices were down 60% or more, just saying.

  31. gary says:

    Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX is located in Denver, is she not? Has she even been to NJ? Again, I’ll ask the question: at what point does the discussion of property taxes become the top issue when discussing real estate in New Jersey? At what point do we reach critical mass? The monthly property tax bill is now on par with the monthly mortgage payment? Why haven’t the “experts” admitted that the lending formula here doesn’t apply?

  32. Brian says:

    28 –
    “#18 Mike: I agree, and income tax helps everybody no matter how large or small their income. A cut in property taxes (while nice) only benefits homeowners”

    Job creation (and destruction) is most greatly felt by small businesses.

    My point is that you might help many small business owners by lowering the property tax. Helping homeowners who use the services of small business owners might also have the additional benefit of job creation. I don’t know the exact numbers but my guess is that the amount of money distributed to a lower income taxpayer via a income tax cut would be very small.

    Quote from the above link:

    “While small and large firms provide roughly equivalent shares of jobs, the major part of job generation and destruction takes place in the small firm sector, and small firms provide the greater share of net new jobs.”

  33. grim says:

    Top 15 Counties in Median Real Estate Taxes Paid, 2010

    1. Westchester County, New York: $9,003
    2. Nassau County, New York: $8,711
    3. Hunterdon County, New Jersey: $8,523
    4. Bergen County, New Jersey: $8,489
    5. Rockland County, New York: $8,268
    6. Essex County, New Jersey: $8,117
    7. Somerset County, New Jersey: $7,801
    8. Morris County, New Jersey : $7,707
    9. Passaic County, New Jersey: $7,544
    10. Union County, New Jersey: $7,443
    11. Putnam County, New York: $ 7,331
    12. Suffolk County, New York: $7,192
    13. Monmouth County, New Jersey: $6,917
    14. Hudson County, New Jersey: $6,426
    15. Lake County, Illinois: $6,285
    Source: American Community Survey

  34. chicagofinance says:

    Income tax cut is easier to execute. Property tax cuts cannot implemented directly; a set of rules that are either used or misused by municipalities.

    grim says:
    April 17, 2012 at 7:43 am
    Good point, the probability of seeing reduced rents based on the property tax cuts are damn near zero.

  35. chicagofinance says:

    Oh, so it’s different here, EH?

    gary says:
    April 17, 2012 at 8:59 am
    Why haven’t the “experts” admitted that the lending formula here doesn’t apply?

  36. 3B says:

    #32 You might ALso help kids coming out of school who at least some hopefully are getting jobs. A 10 % cut int their state income tax would be very beneficial for them, and they are not homeowners. However the cut would give them more money to pay down their student loan debt, and or more money to stimulate the economy in general.

    I have been a home owner and renter, so I don’t have an ax to grind. As far as property taxes in many instances the pain is self inflicted you vote yes to out of control spending, you have higher taxes. So give the income tax cut and everyone gets it, including the homeowner.

  37. Brian says:

    In your oppinion, which is the better tax to cut and why?

    34.chicagofinance says:
    April 17, 2012 at 9:05 am
    Income tax cut is easier to execute. Property tax cuts cannot implemented directly; a set of rules that are either used or misused by municipalities.

  38. freedy says:

    can’t make this stuff up on how we are lied to

  39. freedy says: Housing starts slide,oh well . What time
    is Oprah on

  40. Mikeinwaiting says:

    3b 28 Like I said you stand where you sit, we both cashed out of our homes pre-bust. But we have a good argument never the less.
    3b 3o all RE is local & they are full of it.

  41. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Neither reduction is likely but I would want to see the property tax cut, only because I am, or will soon be, a seller.

    Now from the “saying what you are thinking but won’t say aloud” department: I new property tax cut will “screw the kids”. Well, they’re going to get screwed anyway so I might as well keep as much of mine as I can so I can provide for my own.

  42. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    new s/b know.

    Whaddya want from me? It’s tax day.

  43. 3B says:

    #40 Mike: Agreed. But I think in the interest of fairness, and leaving any emotion out of it. An income tax cut benefits everybody, across the board, no one group benefits over another.

  44. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Brain 37 “In your opinion, which is the better tax to cut and why?”
    Yes let the proletariat have an academic discussion of the merits, unfortunately the plan is to make you a debt slave to mortgages, student loans, taxes etc. Any and all the crumbs we are thrown are to that end. No kool aid for me thank you.

  45. DBS says:

    What is the most anyone should ever pay for a 4 bd 2 bath Cape in Cranford? Let’s say it’s in move in condition, but not anything special, a “sought after neighborhood,” and the best thing it has going for it is a .35 lot.

  46. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [45] DBS

    You shouldn’t pay anything if you can get a comparable house for comparable money in Westfield.

  47. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Tax Shocker of the Day:

    Just listening to the talking heads on Fox (their turn in the surf rotation) and Bob Beckel, who is one of their most liberal pundits, proclaimed himself to be personally in favor of a flat tax!!!!

    Just about fell off my seat. Would have spit coffee through my nose if I were drinking any. A liberal attack dog advocating a flat tax. Unbelievable.

  48. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    I am going to state soemthing profound:

    why not both?

    Oh that is right we live in NJ, to get any kind of tax relief we would have to have a french style revolution to enact any change. Meat still want to be Robespierre?

  49. Juice Box says:

    Talking about tax cuts when we have a massive Federal budget deficit and tremendous unfunded liabilities at the local level? You folks really want to pay $1o for a loaf of bread?

  50. Brian says:

    Yes because young adults mostly make good decisions about where to put their extra money.

    We should consider the macroeconomic picture also.

    -It would help the brewing industry, as young adults would have more money to spend at raves and keg parties. It could also help the autobody industry, because young adults would have more gas money to get to the keg party where they could drive home and crash into stuff. I think it could also help the fencing industry as they would crash into white picket fences on homeowners lawns that would need to be repaired. It could help the landscaping industry…I remember purposely driving over people’s delicately manicured front lawns and tearing it up with my buick. This would need to be repaired. I distinctly remember a friend of mine driving triple the speed limit on a small windy road and crashing his car into a stone wall. It poked completely through the wall. He woke up in the middle of the night behind the wheel with the radio blaring, engine idling, winshield wipers going, still halfway through the wall. He backed out of it and just drove home. To this day when I drive by you can still see where the hole in the wall is repaired. There’s a honda accord shaped hole with new rocks and mortar right in the middle.

    “#32 You might ALso help kids coming out of school who at least some hopefully are getting jobs. A 10 % cut int their state income tax would be very beneficial for them, and they are not homeowners.”

  51. I definitely prefer a property tax cut. This is very good where we stands and sit.

  52. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [48] pain

    Meat would make a very good Robespierre.

  53. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    After further reflection, I have to agree that income tax cuts may be better. Anything to increase disposable income of NJers is going to help housing.

    Also, it may surprise some that I am in favor of the Buffett Rule if it gets rid of AMT as well. Purely self-interested on my part, but I would rather help those who cannot help themselves as much whereas the truly wealthy will still be able to avoid this tax so I need not worry about them (besides, they hire tax lawyers). Won’t do much for the deficit and won’t hurt the high earners hard unless they tighten it up a lot.

    One thing you will see: No one will earn 1MM. They will earn just under or well over but those on the bubble will have options to avoid getting pushed into Buffett territory.

  54. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    OT Alert:

    Anyone else getting annoying robocalls from a wireless number about some gimmick to get tax credits on energy improvements? Contains one blatantly false claim and I get these calls 2X per day.

  55. SRK says:

    Hi All, Sorry to break into the tax discussion. I need some advice. I am in attorney review now. The sale is under dual agency. Both buyer (me) and seller atorneys have been appointed, oops, recommended by the listing agent. I gave in to the attorney recommendation while standing my ground on getting my own inspector. Anyway, seller attorney has suggested a change to our inspection contingency clause (which is acceptable to my buyer attorney, of course !) saying that “buyer accepts that inspection recommended requests that are of cosmetic and upgrade nature, or because an item has exceeded its life expectancy will not be valid requests and will not be allowed as reason for termination of contract”. Please correct me if I am wrong, I find this too restrictive. I feel that whatever and however the issues are labelled, whatever and howmuchever the seller is willing to pay/credit, at the end of the day I need to have an idea of what total costs I have to bear in the near future on the house, and based on that cost whether the house affordable for me. And I feel this suggestion by seller’s and buyer’s attorney robs me of that opportunity to walk away if I am not satisfied with overall condition of the house as gleaned from inspection report. btw, there is no seller disclosure whatsoever since it is an estate sale. Please advise. Am I wrong (in not accepting this suggestion) ?

  56. 3B says:

    #50 Brian:Yes because young adults mostly make good decisions about where to put their extra money.

    It is not anyone’s place to determine what they would do with that extra money. And as a matter of fact I do know young adults who would make good decisions with that money. One should not paint with such a broad brush.

    I could just as easily say some home owners won’t make good decisions with the cut in property taxes. After all one could argue that so many homeowners have not made such wonderful decisions over the last few years.

    As I previously noted at least with the income tax everyone would benefit including homeowners; seems pretty fair to me. What one chooses to do with the extra income is their business.

  57. Freddie says:

    Hi All,
    talking about Westfield, looking at Zillow I see a house on 425 Baker that was sold, and shows as immediately went back to the market, asking $650k, same as it was sold. Anyone here from Westfield, may know the skinny on this house? Looking for something in the Wilson area, and not much being offered…Thx

  58. seif says:

    55 – don’t sign if you are not comfortable. amend that statement to something that works for you.

  59. jcer says:

    considering my property taxes are abated for another 25 yrs, I’d take income tax break.

  60. Juice Box says:

    re #55 – Sounds like they are just trying to keep you from getting cold feet over re-caulking a tub or demanding the replacement of old windows, appliances or even the heating system.

  61. Brian says:

    Car insurance companies paint them with a pretty broad brush. I think they have statistics too.

    56.3B says:
    April 17, 2012 at 11:00 am
    #50 Brian:Yes because young adults mostly make good decisions about where to put their extra money.

    It is not anyone’s place to determine what they would do with that extra money. And as a matter of fact I do know young adults who would make good decisions with that money. One should not paint with such a broad brush.

    I could just as easily say some home owners won’t make good decisions with the cut in property taxes. After all one could argue that so many homeowners have not made such wonderful decisions over the last few years.

    As I previously noted at least with the income tax everyone would benefit including homeowners; seems pretty fair to me. What one chooses to do with the extra income is their business.

  62. All Hype says:

    SRK (55):

    I would not sign that contract. What you want done to the house before you move in is in your right. Boo hoo for the seller if they need to shell out 20k in repairs and upgrades.

  63. SRK says:

    Thanks Seif 58, I just want words saying that while seller is not required to fix anything, the buyer has the option to cancel contract if seller refuses to fix. Which is what was sent by us originally, but seller has added the exclusions. I am going to ask for striking that exclusion in its entirety.

    My attorney (the paralegal actually) had sort of ‘socialised’ this exclusion with me even before we sent over the contract – that I need to be flexible about a lot of inspection suggestions, especially “old items”. I never thought this exclusion will be put in the contract and bind me in.

    I am really amazed at the real estate agents and attorneys. If they are this indifferent and nonchalant in these hard times, I cant even imagine what it must have been like for buyers during 2004 to 2007.

  64. seif says:

    63 – make your intentions clear

    ie, i want to buy this house. i didn’t come this far to walk away but i need to know that if the inspection reveals something – that we haven’t already discussed or disclosed (ie, fridge is old, etc) – that we can discuss the expense and negotiate if it is over X dollars in value.

  65. DBS says:

    46 (Nom)

    That is, in a way, what I am getting at…24 Tulip in Cranford, a cape as described, sold for $580,000.
    LP 569,900
    DOM 14

    It’s shocking to me. When I first saw they listing I thought the asking price was insane. Guess not.

  66. Brian says:

    Not the tax credit one but I get the “Congratulations you’ve won a carnival, norwegiean or princess cruise”. At least 3 times a week. Just got one about five minutes ago.

    54.Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    April 17, 2012 at 10:51 am
    OT Alert:

    Anyone else getting annoying robocalls from a wireless number about some gimmick to get tax credits on energy improvements? Contains one blatantly false claim and I get these calls 2X per day.

  67. Nicholas says:


    I am not a RE agent, just a home buyer that has bought and sold property, none of which was a short sale or forclosure. Perhaps others can join in on your issues with a more refined approach. Here goes…

    First of all dual agency is a serious problem. I have had more problems with dual agency then you can imagine and most of them are just to railroad the buyer to get the deal done. In one dual-agency situation, I actually had the agent leaking very important information about the seller to me regarding their financial situation and why they moved. I figure that if they are leaking that type of critical information then what is to stop them from doing it in the opposite direction. I wish more people would recognize that dual agency provides waaaay to many problems which a thin veil of RE ethics cannot hide.

    Second, your attorney is YOUR attorney not the agents attorney. He is paid to represent you and no one else. I would highly suspect any attorney that has been selected by anyone else because there are so many things that you cannot see. Is the RE agent getting a kickback from the attorney for the referral? If they have a long standing buisness partnership or relationship then how are you to guarantee that he will act in your best interest in regard to the deal?

    Now onto your real question. If you are going to make an offer and make it contingent on a home inspection then you have every right to do so. You have an idea of what the house would be worth given what you can see but you are not an expert. You hire an expert to tell you how many years the roof has left, how long the appliances have been in and if they are likely to need replacing and repair, and you have them go through crawl spaces to look for termites and water damage. Based upon that experts opinion you then can readjust the houses value for the things you cannot see. You are not an expert and thus signing away your contingent rights to renegotiate based upon an experts opinion is foolish. If you do sign those rights away you immediately need to factor in a complete replacement of all facilities into the offer price because they are effectively telling you that the expert WILL find that they need to be replaced and they don’t want to do that.

    To recap.

    You offer 500k on the house, assuming that roof is 8 years old (15 year lifetime), facilities are 10 years old (20 year lifetime), and there is no termite or water damage to the home. They want you to remove contingency on facilities but not on termite or roof damage. You price out a replacement of hotwater, furnace, AC units at 50k. Since the facilities had 10 out of 20 years left you then discount at 50% and then go back to the offer table. You then say “Yes, I will remove the contingency but my offer drops to 475k to account for having to replace all the facilities. If I had a home inspection that told me that these were good for 10 more years then I would raise offer to 500k”.


  68. SRK says:

    Thanks Juice 60 and All-hype 62,

    Yes. I think so too, that they dont want to deal with windows, furnace etc. I myself wouldnt ask them for appliances, I want to be reasonable, but say it comes out that within the year I might have to change the roof, furnace and windows, that would be over 30 K, and may be I would want to walk. Most importantly I am worried about electrical and plumbing, in case they say everything is working but would need fixing in the short run.

    Also it is suspicious they say ‘items that are at or beyond life-expectancy’. There are no seller disclosures on any item, so why this clause at all ? Unless the life-expectancy they are talking about is not age-related but condition-related ? Say inspection says ‘furnace is functioining but will need to be changed within the year for such and such reasons’, that too is a life-expectancy.

    Overall, I am not comfortable making any qualifications in the inspection clause. I am a first time buyer, so I was doubting if I am being overly paranoid and afraid, hence my asking you all. Thanks so much for the inputs.

  69. Nicholas says:

    Actually, my example sux. You would want to discount the whole 50k from offer because you have to assume that all the facilities are junk.

    Offer 450k instead.

  70. seif says:

    68 – you know what would be fun? post a link to the house so we can all rip it apart and convince you that you should only be offering 65% of what you have already agreed to!

    (just kidding)

  71. Juice Box says:

    SRK – You did say estate sale and no seller disclosure. If you did not price that into your offer already, what are you expecting another $50K off for Roof, Furnace, Windows etc?

  72. All taxation is a form of theft by organized crime.

    Abolish all taxes!

    Anarchy now!!!!!

  73. Nicholas says:


    Most appliances are tested and have some type of lifetime associated with it before the parts wear out and it breaks down. You can repair or replace the broken parts but you often just run into other problems after that. Take for example a dishwasher. It only has 4k wash cycles before everything stops working properly. Now if you ran the dishwasher daily then it lasts 10 years. If you run it once a week who knows how long it will last.

    A good home inspector should be able to tell you about your furnace and if it has lots of problems late in life. He can tell you what you expect your next major repair will be in the upcomming years. If a furnace has been operating for 20 years there is a very high chance that it will stop working and need to be replaced. It is “beyond its life expectancy”.

    Just ask them to compensate you for the risk that you are taking on in regards to changing or removing the contingency clauses.

  74. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Enjoy Nom:

    Special Report: Tax time pushes some Americans to take a hike

  75. Nicholas says:


    Of course he hasn’t priced it in that is why he is balking at making it contingent on home inspection.

  76. plume (52)-

    I’d make a better Abbie Hoffman.

  77. SRK (63)-

    So what you’re really saying is that you planned to use inspection issues to grind down the seller in a second negotiation, and the seller is trying to cut down the scope of the second negotiation that he knows is coming?

  78. 3B says:

    #61 Brian: I give up.

  79. SRK says:

    Nicholas, Thanks so much for detailed description of the situation.

    The agency has a long-standing business relationship with both lawyers – mine and sellers. When they were ‘highly recommending’ me this lawyer I did ask them ‘what guarentees he will work for me and not for the deal’ ?

    Right after sending the contract the listing agent said that the price was so low that seller possible wont give a peeny after inspections. And then my attorney’s paralegal gave me the drivel about how I should settle for a homesheild insurance and not crib about the furnace, heater etc. So I was prepared for being pushed around during post-inspection negotiations by my own attorney and agent, but didnt expect them to put it in the contract.

    The house is estate sale, hasnt been occupied for a couple years, was on the market a long time last year and went into contract in December, came out in April since buyer could not get mortgage.

    Now I am wondering why the other contract fell. It could be mortgage as so many folks are being denied. Or may be the buyer wanted to walk out and ensured he didnt get mortgage ?

    The house is priced very well, and my accepted offer is in line with recent sales of similar homes. But still I need to know what the total replacement costs would be and whether I am able afford it, whether the house becomes too over-priced after these replacements.

  80. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    for anyone who thought Nom was nuts on the expatriation topic not long before it goes mainstream as a viable escape strategy for the middle class

    Last year when I went to Europe I was knee deep in brats and beer to ensure our Euro accounts in Germany stayed below the reporting threshold

  81. Brian says:

    78 –

    Me too. Who are we kidding anyway. Taxes are going up Duh?

  82. You have the right to fire your attorney and get another one. In fact, given what you’ve posted so far, I’d walk away from this deal. You walk away now, I bet the estate is back to you with all kinds of disclosure and concession…if they really want to sell this house.

    If not, you know they’re hiding something and/or not truly motivated to meet the market.

  83. In this kind of market, the seller simply does not get to dictate terms. You let the seller, the attorneys, the RE agents dictate to you, you get what you deserve.

  84. SRK says:

    77 Meat,

    Honestly, I just want to know the bottom-line of my costs and have an exit. The seller, attorneys and agent are blocking my exit. I mean, may be some other buyer might not find the house expensive despite all those replacements. Let him/her buy the house. That’s my request.

  85. SRK, you need to up your requests to the level of demands.

  86. Somebody on the other side of that table still thinks it’s 2005, and you need to bitch-slap the taste out of their mouths.

  87. 3B says:

    #84 freedy: No discussion of propert taxes and so it is N/A for our area; IMO.

  88. Juice Box says:

    re: # 79- SRK – there may already be an inspection report from the last aborted sale. Find out if your attorney is worth his salt and tell him to ask for a copy, after all defect disclosure is the law.

  89. SRK says:

    82 Meat,

    I do love the house, its location, etc. and trying to make it work for me. But yes, I am ready to walk also.

  90. freedy says:

    You have to pay your fair share to live and pay property taxes in NJ. Afterall its for
    the Children and its close to NYC. Ask anyone who lives here .

  91. SRK says:

    89 Juice, I already asked for previous home inspection and termite report. She said it belongs to the previous buyer and was not authorised to share it with me. But she disclosed a radon issue from the previous inspection. The seller had done remidiation and sent me latest radon test report from last month.

  92. Mike says:

    65 That buyer had to have a hard on for Cranford. The house is not quite in the College Estates area which is the most exclusive part of Cranford. Accordind to Zillow the 2011 taxes were 11K.

  93. All Hype says:

    Use this clip as useful teaching tool for your house negotiations:

  94. Juice Box says:

    SRK – then ask for the name of the previous buyer….

  95. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    SRK –

    I would hesitate to sign any such agreement. You need to take hold of this situation.

    First, the Closing Attorney Fees are generally about $1000 around this neck of the woods. You should call a random Real Estate Atty in your area just to see what the going rate is up there. Unless this Agent-recommended Atty is saving you significant bucks……bring in a fully disinterested party to put a stop to anything that favors the Seller.

    Second, your Dual Agent should give you a full disclosure of the Fees payable on either side of this transaction. The percentage is always negotiable, especially on a deal like this.

    Third, make sure your Home Inspector is aware that the home has been vacant for awhile. All the Big Ticket Items should be thoroughly checked and every potential problem should be documented in his report. I’d be particularly interested in a Mold Report.

    I wonder if that first Buyer was using FHA Financing and the Home failed to pass even the current watered-down FHA requirements ??

  96. gary says:

    In this kind of market, the seller simply does not get to dictate terms.

    Any questions?

  97. gary says:

    All Hype [94],


  98. gary says:

    DBS [65],

    Somebody got duped, bilked and hoodwinked. That’s ridiculous… f*cking ridiculous. Almost 600K for a cape in Cranford? Tell the buyers to travel 3 miles east or north east to witness a “drive by” in person.

  99. Mike says:

    Gary 99 Also not to far from some of the areas that were under water from Irene. Must of been one of those situations where the wife where’s the pants and her parents live on the same block. I don’t get that one.

  100. Nicholas says:


    Simple web search shows you the sheer stupidity of not sharing home inspection reports from other buyers. If the seller knows that there is a defect and doesn’t disclose it to you before the sale then they are in violation of the law. If it results in damage or death then the sellers are often liable for the results.

    I would check the laws in your states as often times the home inspection report should be made available to you. My guess is that you need a new attorney.

    With this criterion in mind, no seller should wonder or ask if an old home inspection report should be disclosed. If the report itself is withheld from disclosure, then the particular defects that are listed in the report should all be included in the sellers’ disclosure statement.

    Failure to disclose those defects can be regarded as deliberate concealment, and in most states, that is a violation of law. If you have concerns regarding possible nondisclosure, you should demand to see a copy of the old report.

  101. Mike says:

    100 where’s = wears

  102. livinginpa says:

    question about dual agency…

    if you are not represented by an agent (by choice) and submit an offer on your own using the Standard Agreement of Sale (because you have access to it and don’t need an agent to fill it in) on a property that is listed on the MLS, does the seller’s agent have any responsibility to you? And, do you have a right to ask for disclosure of fees etc to be earned by the seller’s agent?

  103. SRK says:

    94 All Hype, That was THE best ! :-)

    96 Fiddy Cents, My attorney charges 850, while others in this viscinity charge 750 ! You know what my agent replied when I asked ‘will this guy watch out for me ?’. She said ‘well, buyers bring their own attorneys who then start fighting with seller’s attorneys and sabotage the deal, this one wont fight ! :-)’ and I still said ‘yes’, but closely reading everything. I told my inspector that the house has been empty, will tell him again. But right now we need to get out of review, and my lawyer isint helping :-( Actually I have never spoken to the attorney, and when I went over to hand in the advance attorney fees check of $350 my paralegal wont even come to the front desk to say ‘hi’. I could hear her telling the receptionist ‘ask her to leave the check.’ Guess they dont like buyers that read ! :-) And wow, I never thought of the FHA requirements.

    Anyway, I just sent off an email to my attorney paralegal asking her to remove the entire clause labelling and qualifying repairs and defects for ‘exclusions’, let’s see what she does. Told her I refuse to hand over my exit.

    95 Juice, tried asking for buyer’s name, didnt work :-(

  104. SRK says:

    wow, 101 Nicholas, This is something. I didnt ask my attorney, rather the para-legal, I asked the listing agent (who is also my buying agent in dual agency) for the inspection report. She said she didnt have it, it belongs to the buyer. I asked her if we can ask seller to share and she said they dont have it either ! May be I need to dig out NJ laws in this regard and then ask again. Thanks a lot !

  105. gary says:

    I asked the listing agent (who is also my buying agent in dual agency) for the inspection report. She said she didnt have it, it belongs to the buyer. I asked her if we can ask seller to share and she said they dont have it either!

    Someone please tell me again the value a realtor brings to the table? As I’ve said before from recent experience, we had to use a realtor to show a family sale a few years ago because of the distance and we wound up doing all the work. I made 50 phone calls and a few trips to the county clerks office. The realtor took pictures, listed the house and it closed after 4 or 5 weeks. I spoke to the realtor twice… the first day of the listing and then a phone call the evening after the closing. She did nothing.

  106. seif says:

    I have an agent that has been showing me houses for about 7 years (never bought from her and have rented through her once – i am the worst client ever and she is a trooper)…and she showed me a house a few weeks back and she gave me a previous inspection WITHOUT ME ASKING FOR IT. Previous owner was old or deceased, children are selling it, etc. Sounds like your situation…but they were not trying to hide or pull a fast one. They were up front; “here is what an inspector said, we are not fixing these things but you know what they are.”

    Sounds like too much nonsense going on in your transaction.

  107. gary says:

    “The low foreclosure numbers in the first quarter are not an indication that the massive reservoir of distressed properties built up over the past few years has somehow miraculously evaporated,” said Brandon Moore, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.

    He said a large backlog of bank-owned properties that has accumulated over the past few years will put added pressure on the housing market when banks eventually list them for sale.

    “The dam may not burst in the next 30 to 45 days, but it will eventually burst, and everyone downstream should be prepared for that to happen,” he said in a news release.

    I guess our kids will eventually need to learn how to farm and raise chickens.

  108. Metroplexual says:

    I got both by moving to Nevada. No income tax and greatly reduced property taxes ($2600). I know NV is not for everyone but consider it before you are all taxed to death.

  109. SRK says:

    107 seif, oh, you found an angel ! I really cant beleive it when she says seller’s dont have the report. How can that be ? Why would buyer do the inspection and not share it with seller ?

    106 Gary, Agent just called me to say I was holding up the review, people are beginning to come in with offers higher than mine. And she tells me to talk to the lawyer ASAP and sort this out, that she cant help me with the contingency clause, that I need deal with the lawyer. Lawyer’s para legal called me to explain how this clause wont hurt me at all, she will fight for and what not, I held my ground. Only thing I agreed to was inspection before review. Either remove that clause in inspection contingency or let me do my inspection before the AR completition.

    101 Nicholas, asked the paralegal about NJ law and prior inspection report and she said seller were not legally obliged to share it – either the report in full or the defects in disclosure.

  110. Juice Box says:

    Nom – mainstream article on turning in your US citizenship…

    Last year, almost 1,800 people followed Superman’s lead, renouncing their U.S. citizenship or handing in their Green Cards. That’s a record number since the Internal Revenue Service began publishing a list of those who renounced in 1998. It’s also almost eight times more than the number of citizens who renounced in 2008, and more than the total for 2007, 2008 and 2009 combined.

    But not everyone’s motivations are as lofty as Superman’s. Many say they parted ways with America for tax reasons.

  111. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [111] juice

    You and the rest of the readers here have known that for nearly a year now.

    And consider this: every person on that list is considered rich. You don’t make the list unless you are rich.

  112. Nicholas says:


    I’m not from NJ but from what I read online it is a requirement to disclose defects in NJ. This is why you should have your own attorney.

    So look at the situation from the other side. You are selling a house and a buyer wants to come in and do an inspection. You say, “Sure but you have to share the report with me or your inspector is not allowed on the property”. Those results are ALWAYS shared with the seller. They have copies of that report or else they are idiots.

    Once they read that report they are LIABLE if they do not disclose the defects that are found in that report regardless of how small they are. Suppose there is a crack in the foundation and the house crumbles. They are responsible for anyone that is injured or dies in the home as a result. They knew it was unsafe and they hid those details from you. A lawyer would tell you that they must disclose that information.

    If they don’t have the report because they lost it or the dog ate it then perhaps they fail to see the seriousness of their failures. They should go get another copy and provide it to you.

    Don’t back down on the contingency clauses. Do consult another attorney and have him represent you.

  113. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [57] Freddie,

    I live very, very close and I would discourage much of baker. Much of it gets parked up. Part of It abuts the school and gets closed each day.

    Email me at I will give you the skinny on the area.

  114. seif says:

    110 – ain’t that the worst luck?!!!
    just after you agreed to a deal with them tons of higher offers are coming in!

  115. SRK says:

    113 Nicholas, I really dont know what’s wrong with these people. They really dont know the law or are they brazenly lying about it ? The paralegal insisted again and again that there was no obligation for the seller to share details from the prior inspection.

    Now the seller’s attorney says he can amend the language saying if items are past their age and replacement is over 2K we can use it for exit. And a similar aggregate for maintenance issue of about 2K. This or he is willing to let us inspect the house while still under AR, of course the house continues to show and offers accepted during AR. I am more inclined to go with inspection before AR, even though it is a risk that I will lose 450$ and another offer could be accepted.

  116. DBS says:

    Mike (93) & (100)
    Gary (99)

    Since I started looking last year I have seen some crazy things go down, but this one takes the cake. Even if the house were in College Estates it would be astonishing. I could justify a higher than average sales price due to the lot size, but not that much.

    I thought in the aftermath of Irene things in Cranford would calm down, but all signs point to a worse selling season for buyers. I blame it on the lack of inventory. Even houses in the southern part of Clark have sold for way more than I expected.

    Nom-We really can’t afford anything more than a 3bd/1.5 in Westfield…We are getting too old to move into a starter home.

  117. Nicholas says:

    Citing of certain cases where sellers AND real estate agents are liable if they do not disclose defects in the home. You have a right to see past inspections on the home up to a reasonable time limit (say…4 years?).

  118. Nicholas says:

    Selling a home “as-is” may seem like that limits the responsibility on the sellers but if they knew of a defect and didn’t disclose that then they are legally responsible often with punitive damages (3x amount of loss to buyer?).

  119. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:


    There are a multitude of problems from this sad story you are telling.

    first of them you fell in love with the house, never fall in love with the house. Second fire that attorney, and hire another who will act in your interests not the sellers. Consider it a very expensive lesson or threaten to report him/her to the local bar for not acting in their clients interest while demanding a refund on monies paid. Third tell the sellers if they have other higher offers they should pursue them but realize that if they come back to you at a later date your offer will be 20% less than it is now and they are assuming all burn costs attorneys, inspections etc.

    your going to be on the hook for the place for the next 30 years if you do not feel comfortable with any part of the process you are always going to be miserable about it.

    I remember this piece of advice someone gave me here before I bought, they have to sell the house you don’t have to buy it. Take that to heart the negotiations will go better from there

  120. Nicholas says:


    You can always ask for details of selling RE agents compensation in the transaction. You might not get the warmest reaction but you are entitled to the information and it will be clearly written down on the signing documents when you are at closing.

    Asking for the the information that you will get at closing when you sign, BEFORE you sign any documents shouldn’t be a problem. If there is just let them know that you are not comfortable with comming to close without knowing where all the marbles lie.

  121. Brian says:


    Sounds like they are putting pressure on you to do the deal. I think meat is right, you really need to get another lawyer. Don’t fall for the BS. It’s a big purchase. You have every right to be cautious. Everybody who’s ever bought a house has heard the “we have other offers coming in…hurry” line of garbage. I don’t think you should let it create any sense of urgency in you.

    The lawyer I hired was very understanding of any concerns I had and immediately send communications to the sellers DEMANDING paperwork if I requested it.

    Make sure you feel comfortable.

    That said I wish you the best…

    116.SRK says:
    April 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm
    113 Nicholas, I really dont know what’s wrong with these people. They really dont know the law or are they brazenly lying about it ? The paralegal insisted again and again that there was no obligation for the seller to share details from the prior inspection.

    Now the seller’s attorney says he can amend the language saying if items are past their age and replacement is over 2K we can use it for exit. And a similar aggregate for maintenance issue of about 2K. This or he is willing to let us inspect the house while still under AR, of course the house continues to show and offers accepted during AR. I am more inclined to go with inspection before AR, even though it is a risk that I will lose 450$ and another offer could be accepted.

  122. Freddie says:

    Comrade (114) thanks for the advise and offer, I may write to you if I have more concrete questions. For now I am “window shopping” to see what is available before I start working with a RE agent.

    DBS (117) looks like we are in similar boats. Not much to pick from, and sellers are just crazy. Saw this one house on Mountain Av & Chestnut, in Feb. they put in into the market, asking for best offers by such date. I went to the open house, suspecting of REO. But no, the agent told me, it was just “regular folks that wanted to get the place sold quickly at a fair price”. I did not like the house much, neither location, I decided to pass. I guess they did not liked the “fair” offers they got, the place stayed for sale, asking $650k, now just dropped to $600k.

  123. Mike says:

    117 DBS Just went on Weichert site and checked out some Cranford homes and there was one just listed on 638 Riverside Drive for 629K. As much as I like this street and it borders Nomahegan Park it was a war zone after Irene hit. All I can remember while riding my bike down this street last year was how sorry I felt for these people sitting on patio furniture outside on their front lawns with no power along with the muddy stenched belongings. kept saying to myself they’ll never be able to sell these homes. Also saw some College Estate homes in the mid to upper 600’s When I last saw them they were in the mid 400’s How did this happen?

  124. chicagofinance says:

    Penny wise…..pound foolish…..if $450 makes you flinch, how about a couple $10,000 or more?

    SRK says:
    April 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm
    I am more inclined to go with inspection before AR, even though it is a risk that I will lose 450$ and another offer could be accepted.

  125. Nicholas says:


    So it appears that what they really want is you to be serious about closing on the house and not getting all pissy over a few thousand dollars. Consider this a litmus test of how hot or cold you are to making it to the closing table.

    I would counter with the offer that you would relax contingency upon facility inspection if the seller pre-agrees to catch the first 2k in repairs and that you can back out of the deal if there are more than 2k in repairs. This puts no extra risk on you and make the seller move 2K in your direction in the event of repairs.

    This also gives the seller a solid feeling when moving forward with entertaining your offer. They have a reason to believe that you will close the deal if there are less than 2k in defects.

    This does not keep them from having to disclose previous home inspection reports regardless if the defects were repaired.

  126. SRK says:

    121 Painhrtz and 123 Brian,

    Thank you. I think this time I am not in love with the house, but may be a little impatient with the process. The weakness is ‘how many times do I have to go thru with this ?’ kind of impatience and urgency, and I do need to reign it in. I have agreed to do inspection before attorney review, I feel better now. If inspection is not to satisfaction we will walk out, an 350 + 450 hole (attny fee adv + inspection) instead of a 350 hole, but that’s OK.

  127. chicagofinance says:

    Peter Bennett is a must!!!!

    Everyone, please chime in……

  128. 30 year realtor says:

    SRK – Just about every inspection company now e-mails their reports to buyer, seller and agents, if requested. If the deal fell apart due to inspections, the seller’s attorney either has a copy of the report or a letter from the buyer’s attorney spelling out the issues.

  129. Nicholas says:

    I’m not doing very hot today.

    I did not mean to say that you would would drop “contingent upon home inspection” but modify it to “contingent upon home inspection if repairs total more than 2k. Seller agrees to pay repairs of up to 2k to correct any defects found by buyer or home inspection”.

  130. Libtard in Union says:

    Long live the UberInspektor!

  131. gary says:

    Mike [125],

    It’s the tenant mentality. It’s the reason why peasants remain steerage. It’s the reason why peons remain chattel and why mental midgets remain m0rons. Flash a picture of a cheesburger in a wannabe buyers face. If he/she remains fixated for more than 3 seconds, you know you’ve hooked a sucka.

  132. Nicholas says:


    Honestly it seems to me that the attorney isn’t representing your interest and that is enough to get your money back. It may take a fight but you should be able to recoup that 450. I would ask for the money back before the inspection though so that it is clear that it is on princple rather than the deal falling through.

    Move to get another lawyer.

  133. chicagofinance says:

    The End Is Nigh (JJ Edition):

    11 and 12 for Jets cornerback: Cromartie’s wife hints twins on the way
    Antonio Cromartie is about to add some depth to his roster of kids.

    The wife of the Jets cornerback posted a sonogram photo on Twitter that suggests the pair is expecting twins. That would make it 12 kids overall for Cromartie, with four from his wife, and eight others all from separate women.

    Cromartie and Cason recently had a son, Jagger, who joined sister Jurzie. Cromartie has not mentioned the news on his Twitter account, but did wish Jurzie a happy second birthday.

    “Identical twins run in my Family,” Cason wrote to alongside the photo.

    Cromartie has been criticized for his large brood, and that has only grown since he seemed to struggle to remember the names of some of his kids when the Jets were on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” in 2010.

  134. jcer says:

    30 yr, the inspection generally is the sole property of the buyer, while the home owner and agent see it, unless authorized it generally can not be shared. That being said once the owner knows about an issue they are obliged to disclose. That being said it is extremely common for old inspections to make it to perspective buyers, I’ve had agents flat out tell me there are big problems and they’ve handed me old inspection reports from a failed sale.

  135. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    SRK my wife and I looked at over 100 houses from central to northern NJ. Had more than a few fell through but we are in a place we are happy in. I had to convince her to go look at it as she was equally frustrated and impatient as you sound and the town didn’t meet her criteria. Plus she is a demanding German so I was misreable as well. 2 years later she loves the place and town and we laugh at the ridiculous stress it all caused.

    Better 350 than 350000. just saying

  136. Juice Box says:

    jcer – Property? permission given or not, they the previous failed buyer would need to claim copyright on a copy of a home inspection report. I doubt the previous buyer would care anyway, and wouldn’t the inspector be really the only one who could claim some kind of copyright, since they are really the author.

    If they don’t want to share the report fine, you can still ask for the name of the previous failed buyer, if they refuse then so be it. It seems something is being hidden, that alone is enough to make most people get cold feet.

  137. SRK says:

    134 Nicholas, That the attorney isint representing me zealously is very correct. May be I cant find technical mistakes but certainly isint zealously defending my interests. I have scheduled the inspection for the day after while still under attorney review. So I guess I have covered my self at least from inspection contingency point of view.

  138. DBS says:

    Freddie (124)
    Mike (125)

    Mike, After Irene we were advised by family to drive through, it was definitely an eye-opener and quite sad. My husband swore off the north side, not that we really have a “north side budget.” (I know the south side has flood areas too.) The Nomahegan Park area is beautiful and I will be happy to visit. I can’t imagine dealing with what is supposed to be a 100 year flood every five years or so.

    “College Estate homes in the mid to upper 600′s When I last saw them they were in the mid 400′s How did this happen?”

    They filmed an allstate commercial theie now its prestigious and famous!

    Freddie, although our budget is notably lower than yours…I feel your pain. We put a full asking offer on a house in Cranford 36 hours after listing and were out bid. We put a 93% of asking offer on a house in Clark after they asked for our best and final due to a multiple bidding situation. They refused all offers and didn’t counter. They were, “waiting for their scheduled open house,” which was set for like three weeks later. That house was in att. review a few days after that open house. Regarding that “all bids in by…” listing, I saw one play out well for the sellers in Clark. Listed for 358 ish and sold for 410. Glad to see that backfire on someone.

  139. SRK says:

    137 Painhrtz, Yes am swallowing the 450 and going for inspection the day after tomorrow. Better 450 today than 45000 repairs tomorrow ! Yes, patience is the key. Patience and persistence.

  140. The Original NJ Expat says:

    In Boston nobody does lead paint inspections and sellers don’t allow it. My home was built in 1928 and I’m sure there’s lead paint way down underneath in my home and every similar one. So long as no one inspects for it the property just passes from owner to owner to owner with lead paint listed as “unknown”.

  141. Mike says:

    DBS 140 An Allstate Commercial !? As Gary said ” mental midgets remain morons”

  142. Mike says:

    You could always call the Cranford First Aid Squad for help

  143. grim says:

    Folks – Buyer’s inspections reports are protected against distribution outside of the intended audiences by copyright law, they are authored works. No different from burning a copy of a DVD and giving it to your neighbor.

    That said, if I was a buyer and paid for it, I wouldn’t want it distributed either. You want an inspection, pay for it yourself you cheapskate.

  144. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    DBS and Freddie,

    Understood. If you want the skinny on The Brig, there are plenty of brigadoonians here. I live in the Wilson district and can give lots of info on it and Washington district.

    Can also speak to rest of the brig but I am not as knowledgeable.

  145. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    And FWIW, the brig is worth the extra money vs. Cranford. Especially if u have kids.

  146. borat the dictator says:

    I am a cheesecake

  147. SRK says:

    grim, I was going to do my inspection anyway, wanted to see the other report only because seller was putting some very restrictive clauses in inspection contingency while not having supplied any seller disclosures whatsoever, I wanted those clauses removed, or allowed to have my inspection prior to contract or hand me details from previous inspection. I got the go-ahead to do my inspection and am going to get it done even as the house is still showing !

  148. Morpheus says:

    SRK: use the uber inspector…He’s da bomb.

  149. Fabius Maximus says:

    #151 relo

    Finally nice to see an article that gets past the view that “it’s all billionaires renouncing as they are getting taxed too much”.

    I had house guests from the UK last week and I filed an extension for the wife as she is a US citizen and hasn’t had the time to assemble hubbys (non US citizen) paperwork to file. She pays an “Eddie Ray” a few hundred bucks a year to file zero for her. Give her a few years and she’ll be on this list.

    We don’t have the full breakdown of the numbers, I think it falls a few ways. I pulled a random name off the last list and found a widow living in Switzerland. While she was still on the boards of a few US charities, she seemed to spend most of her time outside the US. I still think that the higher boomer retirement population will contribute to this number as people head back to the motherland to retire.

    But overall it is the hassle of the continual filing for the expats and the higher level of scrutiny of bank accounts is the true driver of the number.

  150. Clarissa says:

    valuable information for all. i will recommend my friends to read this for sure. regards.

  151. daddyo says:

    I can help with Brig info on the Tamaques side of things. We currently rent, but have looked at buying here for almost 5 years.

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  153. Marion says:

    What good is an Income Tax reduction if a person hardly has any income? I’m speaking for those of us senior retirees on fixed incomes paying these high real estate taxes. With a meager 40k/year income and real estate taxes of 8.5k puts some of us in dire straights.

  154. Double Down says:

    SRK, keep things simple. You should base your offer on the condition of the house. If during inspection, you find $5,000 in “needed work” then you might drop your offer by $5,000 or deal with those issues after you move in.

    I’d choose the latter route, and focus on getting the deal done, rather than squabble over 1% issues.

  155. Double Down says:

    “I got the go-ahead to do my inspection and am going to get it done even as the house is still showing!”

    Why is the house still showing while in Attorney Review? Your lawyer should have stated in the contract that the house would not be shown once the seller signed on the dotted line.

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